This week I had the pleasure to meet Alistair Wong, designer of a new party game on Kickstarter, called Wordsmith. He politely offered to show off the game play, and pulled a pretty-looking deck of cards out of his bag.
Setup entails setting out 10 cards on the table facing up and handing each player a hand of four cards. Each card has two letters, with a value from 1 to 5. The numbers act as a score at the end of the game. The higher the number, the more difficult the pair of letters is to create a word. Wordsmith has no turns, so play begins and players can use one card from their hand to create words, using cards on the table. Players leave the card from their hand on the table, taking the cards that began on the table into their score-pile.
Alistair was lightning fast, but I started getting a flow after a little while. It was quite fun to try and play cards from my hand in quick succession, hoping he wouldn’t pluck them up before I could. The play reminded me a lot of playing Set for the first time. It was very fun and the style is nice and efficient.
All-in-all the quality of the cards and novelty of play should make this game quite popular. I can see taking this along to dinner parties or happy hours. It’s simple enough to not intimidate non-gamers. I do have a preference for games that will fit into my purse though.
I backed Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia today on Kickstarter. I couldn’t help myself any longer. The price is $20 below their MSRP. I have loved Alien Frontiers and think that Dice-Placement games have some really wonderful possibilities. Combine that with the post-apocalyptic theme and it’s like catnip!!
it doesn’t hurt that the board is stunning and colorful!!
Kickstarter has quickly made a place for itself in my little gaming world. There have been some amazing projects posted, funded and delivered into the hands of the gamers and fans first. What an idea! I have included Kickstarter projects into my own personal gaming budget(what, you don’t have a gaming budget?) I find that i kick one to two projects a month.
The first project i’m expecting is a reworking of a game, The Great Fire of London 1666. This great game first premiered with pitiable components and a less than desirable rule set. This Kickstarter project brought life back into a project they really believed in. The cost was $60, so not much more than a normal euro i’d pay for in the store. GFoL is a semi-hidden information game. Players are wealthy landowners, trying desperately to save their property from burning. They may not, however, mind if their opponents lands are burned to the ground.
The next i funded was Solforge. I don’t often play new CCGs, as Magic is grand and expensive, without needing to purchase boosters. Solforge, though, is doing something i find to be amazing. This is creating a structure which is just not possible in paper form. They are creating a competitive CCG with cards that change during the game round. It’s almost similar to the evolve technique in Pokemon, but rather than needing all the levels in your primary deck, you gain the later levels of a card as you play them. They have also committed to not doing new sets or cards in month’s long cycles. They are freed by the format being electronic. The cards can be created and implemented whenever they would like.
The only expansion to grace my kickstarter profile is the Eminent Domain: Escalation expansion. I feel that most companies should be able to fund expansions to successful games on their own. Tasty Minstrel Games(and others like them) are very open about their financial state. They talk a lot about their ability to stay afloat by most of their committed help keeping their day jobs. They post the financial details of their titles and are very social and open to online inquiries. I have every intention of buying up Eminent Domain’s expansions as they come out, so to fund it on the internet to help it get printed, i have no qualms.
The last kind of project that i’m happy to fund is the newcomer. Smaller, less ambitious projects are neat. I funded what looks like an art-schooler’s project called Trifecta. The game is pretty, but intentionally simple. They wanted to show off some unique art, and a neat game. What a value, hopefully funding this project will encourage the next!
I’m glad that i can affect my fellows and my industry. I wish that all kickstarters would consider funding to the point in which copies of their newly-minted games would still look comfortable in brick and mortar stores. My latest disappointment was for the game Purge:Sins of Science. A wonderfully designed game with beautiful art. Regrettably they used the worst card stock and packaging. Especially at its $40 price point.